Rameswaram: The historic lighthouse constructed at Pamban near here in 1846 has been reactivated, making it a matter of both pride and satisfaction for the fishermen community in the pilgrim-island of Rameswaram. “The lighthouse becoming functional again is immensely useful for fishermen and ships and we are very pleased about this development,” says M. Patrick, president of the Fishermen’s Association in Pamban.
A legacy of the erstwhile British Raj, this lighthouse for very long years had been functioning uninterruptedly using acetylene gas as a source for its beaming light. The Pamban lighthouse, which was under the control of the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board, was handed over in 2004 to the Central government’s jurisdiction and now is governed by the latter’s department of Shipping and Light Houses.
This unique coastal maritime facility to guide navigating ships and vessels in the vicinity and to send out messages in times of distress or rough sea conditions has been recently renovated and its technology modernised, say sources here.
Unlike other traditional light houses whose beam of light rotates, the Pamban light house illuminates its neighbourhood in all directions simultaneously. It is now equipped with a solar energy-powered laser-like beam that powerfully diffuses the light on all sides. The light house has also other facilities by being able to receive and transmit messages from satellites. It can also beam messages to all GPS-fitted ships and vehicles, pick up distress signals and respond by feeding and guiding them, so that vessels do not go astray.